Converting Data from PowerChurch Plus

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Converting Data from PowerChurch Plus

DONATION can convert and import much of your data from the PowerChurch Plus program, by reading data directly from its database files.


The reason we made this available is that some users may prefer a smaller and significantly less expensive program than PowerChurch Plus, in which case converting to DONATION may meet their needs.


Some benefits of DONATION for Canadian users are its specific handling of the various Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requirements for receipts, including:


Split receipting (donations with advantage)

Gifts in Kind

Duplicate and corrected receipts, giving them new receipt numbers and showing which receipt number they replace or correct. That ensures that the same donation cannot be accidentally included on two different receipts without the previous receipt being re-issued with an indication that it has been cancelled and replaced by the new one.


If you are using the Local Network Version of DONATION, the conversion can only be done from the Local Network Server Version - it cannot be done from the Local Network Client Version.


Our development of this converter was done with the most recent version of PowerChurch Plus, version 12.0, and it was also tested with data from version 11.0. It is possible that earlier versions may have differences in their database structure which will mean that the conversion will not work. If you try the conversion and have difficulties, please contact us at Software4Nonprofits for assistance. We may ask you to send us a copy of your PowerChurch Plus data files for analysis, in order to have the program enhanced to convert that version's data as well. Of course, we would keep your data entirely confidential if you sent it to us - it would only be used to help us analyze and fix the problem.


The information that can be converted from your PowerChurch Plus database is your donors (people within families), donations, donation categories (funds), and donor categories (the Personal Status and Marital Status lists). All years of donations are imported.Not all fields from all types of data are imported, because DONATION tracks fewer things than PowerChurch Plus, but the core information you need should be there.


PowerChurch Plus also include fund accounting, like our ACCOUNTS program. Unfortunately, the structure of its chart of accounts and funds is significantly different from the structure in ACCOUNTS, and thus that information cannot be converted.


If you start DONATION with an empty database, and it can detect that you have PowerChurch Plus installed, you will be prompted to do the conversion. Otherwise, if you have already initialized your DONATION database, or if you wish to re-import a new data dump from PowerChurch Plus, you can do it with the Database ⇒ Import ⇒ From PowerChurch Plus menu option. That will search for a standard directory to find your data files in, and if it can't do that, prompt you to specify that directory.


The conversion of data from PowerChurch Plus completely replaces any data that you already had in your DONATION database.


Note: Importing and converting your data from PowerChurch Plus does not affect your existing PowerChurch Plus data in any way - you will still be able to run PowerChurch Plus after this (assuming you were able to run it before!).


Technical Note: The PowerChurch Plus data files that the conversion actually reads from are CO.DBF, COCODES.DBF, COFUND.DBF, COINFO.DBF, COINFO.FPT, COTRANS.DBF, MA.DBF, MA.FPT, ME.DBF, ME.FPT, MECODES.DBF, PCINFO.DBF and PCINFO.FPT. (Some of those files may or may not be present, or needed, depending on your version of PowerChurch Plus.)


Some specific details about the conversion:


DONATION keeps separate copies of donor records for each calendar year of data in the program. All donor records will be imported into the latest year (the one with the latest donation from PowerChurch Plus). For prior years, only donor records that have donations will be imported. If for some reason you want the donors to be the same in all years, you can use the Copy Missing Donors function in DONATION.

The same approach is taken with donation categories (which are called funds in PowerChurch Plus) - all of them are imported into the latest year, but only ones actually used in donations are imported into prior years.

DONATION does not have a specific notion of families. All people are imported as individual donors. When multiple people within a family have the same Envelope #, that number is only associated with the first person in the family with that number in DONATION, because there cannot be two donors with the same Envelope # in DONATION.

DONATION has two renameable drop-down lists for donors called Donor Category 1 and 2. Those are filled in with the Personal Status list (Member etc.) and Marital Status list (Married etc.) from PowerChurch Plus.

DONATION only stores one phone number for donors. A personal phone number from PowerChurch Plus is used if the person has one, and the family phone number is used otherwise. If the person or family has more than one phone number, the first one will be used.  

DONATION only stores one email address for donors. A personal email address from PowerChurch Plus is used if the person has one, and the family email address is used otherwise. If the person or family has more than one email address, the first one will be used.  

There is no option to determine which donors with email addresses receive emailed tax receipts. If you choose to email receipts, all displayed receipts for donors with email addresses will receive them that way.

Any Suffix on names is not imported. The Title, First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name are imported.

Names with only a Last Name and no First Name are assumed to be organizations or businesses, so that name is imported into DONATION's Business Name field.

If there are unposted contributions, you are given an option of importing them along with the posted contributions.

Repeating contribution definitions are not imported.

DONATION records exactly which donations are included in which numbered tax receipts, so that donations added after a receipt has already been issued will go onto a new separate receipt, and the same donations will never be included in two different receipts (unless a subsequent one is marked as a Replacement or Correction). PowerChurch Plus does not do that - it only records that a certain receipt number was given to a certain person, for donations within a certain range of dates. (And it only records that at all for Canadian users.) So it is not possible to import and convert that receipt information, because it doesn't sufficiently clarify which donations were included in each receipt, and can include the same donations on multiple receipts.

Some PowerChurch Plus fields are longer than the corresponding fields in DONATION. If necessary, field contents will be truncated (cut down) to the maximum size in DONATION. If this happens, you will be shown a file of all such fixes after the conversion is completed, which you can print out and use to fix any problems caused by this truncation. For technical reasons, there may be some duplications in this list of fixes, for example donor names or donation categories that were cut down once for each year they were imported into. There is probably no good reason to do any fixes in anything other than the latest year.


This topic was last edited on Feb 17, 2023